November 2014 Feature Articles

November 2014 Self Help Articles
News You Can Use

Addiction Sessions Planned at Glenbeigh

Glenbeigh Outpatient Center of Erie, 4906 Richmond St., will host a three-week discussion series for people concerned about a loved one’s use of alcohol or other drugs.

The sessions will be conducted by Glenbeigh staff and include information about the disease of addiction. It will also teach family members how to establish healthy boundaries that will allow them to love and respond to a person with addictions without taking responsibility for him or her.

The series is free and open to the public. It begins September 10 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, and continues September 17 and 24.

For more information or to register, call 864-4226 or email

Back to School Health Expo
Presented by the Erie County Medical Society

Date: Saturday, September 13, 2014
Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Millcreek Mall, Macy’s Concourse

Free for parents and school children of all ages. Join us for a fun and informative way to prepare for another exciting school year.

Featured Booths: Vaccinations / Vision / Sports Injuries & Concussions / Diet & Exercise / Bullying / ADHD, Stress, Depression / Impaired & Distracted Driving / Weight & Obesity / School Bus Safety / Reading / Back Care & Health / Dental Health / STD’s / Lead Poisoning & Chemical Overdose Prevention / Dyslexia / Fingerprinting / Drugs & Alcohol / Success by 6 / Skin Cancer & Sun Safety / Insurance / and much more! Wellsville will also be on hand to provide a fun learning experience.

Sponsors of this event include UPMC Hamot, Saint Vincent Hospital, LECOM, UPMC Health Plan, Gannon University, Wellsville, and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

NAMI Family-to-Family Program begins September 24
Date: Fall session begins Wednesday, September 24
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: Gannon University
*Registration required

NAMI’s Family-to-Family Program is a free 12-week educational course for family members, caregivers, and loved ones of individuals with a mental illness. The highly structured Family-to-Family curriculum educates participants about various mental illnesses, treatments and medications, and paths to recovery. The course strengthens family relationships through communication, empathy, and understanding. Many graduates call the program “life-changing” as they develop friendships and support networks with others in similar situations. For more information, please visit or call 814-456-1773.

NAMI Peer-to-Peer Recovery Education Program begins September 16
Date: Fall session begins Tuesday, September 16
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Location: Gannon University
*Registration required

NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer program, funded by the United Way of Erie County, is a free 10-week educational course for adults with a mental illness. No formal mental health diagnosis or referral is required to participate in the Peer-to-Peer program. The Peer-to-Peer program offers a full approach to recovery through a combination of lecture, discussion, interactive exercises, and stress management techniques. The course provides individuals with empowerment, peer support, a recovery plan, and communication skills. The course also teaches strategies for personal and interpersonal awareness, coping skills, and self-care methods. Participants learn to become active in their own treatment and recovery plan. For more information, please visit or call 814-456-1773.

NAMI Support Groups
NAMI’s Family Support Group meets from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month and the Peer Support Group meets from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month. Both groups meet at NAMI of Erie County’s office, 1611 Peach Street, Suite 105, Erie, PA 16501. Free and open to the public, no registration or past participation in our programs is required.

Focus Groups: Planning for Life After High School

Date: September 6, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – Noon
Location: Erie, PA (Specific location to be announced)
Accommodations and supports will be provided, as well as light snacks.

Planning for life after high school:

  • Make a difference by sharing your stories in a focus group!
  • Help us hear the authentic voices of youth with disabilities and families about their experiences with youth as they transition from school to adult life.
  • This will help researchers design a survey to find out what is happening with youth as they transition from school to adult life.
  • Data will be used to enhance the lives of youth with disabilities and families as they transition to adult life by effecting systems and communities.

What to expect:

  • Two different focus groups at each location: one for families, one for youth with disabilities
  • Share your stories: plans after high school; hopes and dreams; strengths, talents, and gifts; fears and challenges…network with others!

Who is invited to apply?

  • Family members of youth with disabilities (ages 14-24)
  • Youth with disabilities (ages 14-24)
  • Selection to participate based on cross-disability, cultural diversity, and statewide representation
  • If selected, we will contact you!

Information to apply:
Additional information about the focus groups and application are online here. If you are interested in learning more about the focus groups and this project, contact Ginger Jolly at 215-204-3053 or by email at

Updated Erie County Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol and Housing Resource Guide

This updated directory lists the services, organizations and individuals that provide care for Erie County residents enrolled in Medical Assistance and/or eligible for Base Funded services.

Click here to download the 2014 Resource Guide

Community Care Family Member Advisory Meetings

Who can attend: Adult Family Members of Community Care Members (Members of Community Care are individuals who are currently enrolled in Pennsylvania HealthChoices)

Eligible Family Members who attend the meeting with receive:

  • Free refreshments
  • $35 for attending the entire meeting

Attendees must register at least one week before each meeting by calling 1-855-310-0241.

Meetings for Erie County will be held on the following dates:

  • Thursday, August 7, 2014
  • Thursday, November 6, 2014

Each meeting will be held from 12:00 – 1:30 pm at Erie County Blasco Library (Admiral Room), 160 East Front Street, Erie, PA 16507.

Community Care Adult Member Advisory Meetings

Who can attend: Adult Community Care Members (Members of Community Care are individuals who are currently enrolled in Pennsylvania HealthChoices)

Eligible Members who attend the meeting will receive:

  • Free refreshments
  • $35 for attending the entire meeting

Attendees must register at least one week before each meeting by calling 1-855-310-0241.

Meetings for Erie County will be held on the following dates:

  • August 18, 2014
  • November 17, 2014

Each meeting will be held from 2:00 – 3:30 pm at the NATO Bayfront Martin Luther King Center (Green Room), 312 Chestnut Street, Erie, PA 16507.

Erie Specialty Care Clinic Spring 2014 Schedules Available
Children's Hospital Specialty Care Center Erie offers convenient access to highly skilled specialists from several divisions. Pediatric specialists from these areas will travel to the center to provide outpatient services, including diagnostic evaluations and follow-up care.

The Children’s Hospital Specialty Care Center is located at Shriners Hospital for Children, 2nd Floor, 1645 West 8th Street.

Spring 2014 Anticipated Schedule (Download PDF)

Endocrinology: Tuesdays & Wednesdays

  • April 9, 15, 23
  • May 14, 20, 28
  • June 17, 25

Gastroenterology: Tues/Wed/Thur/Fri

  • April 1, 2, 3, 4
  • May 1, 2, 6, 7
  • June 3, 4, 5, 6, 18, 19

Nephrology: Thursdays & Fridays

  • April 17, 18
  • June 26, 27

Neurology: Thursdays & Fridays

  • April 10, 11
  • May 8, 9, 22
  • June 5, 26

Neurosurgery: Thursdays

  • April 24
  • May 8, 22
  • June 12

Pulmonary Medicine: Tuesdays & Wednesdays

  • April 16, 22
  • May 7
  • June 18, 24

To schedule an appointment or make a referral, please call 

New Publication to assist families with Juvenile Justice system

The PA Juvenile Justice System strives to involve families in all aspects of the juvenile justice process. The next publication, "A Family Guide to Pennsylvania's Juvenile Justice System," was developed by the Family Involvement Committee of the PA Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers.

The guide is intended to assist families with a better understanding of the Juvenile Justice System and to enable them to be better prepared to work closely with juvenile justice staff during the justice process.

Child here to download the publication (PDF).

Need Help? Call the Mental Health Association's Behavioral Health Navigators

If you need assistance to access and/or navigate the behavioral health service and support system for yourself, your child, a family member, or someone you know, you can now contact the Behavioral Health Navigators at the Mental Health Association of PA.

The Navigator positions are designed to help people of any age – children through older adults – find resources for the variety of issues and needs that come up when looking for or using mental health and/or substance abuse services and supports. When you contact the Navigators, you can choose to remain anonymous or share your name.

You can contact the Navigators at 717-346-0549 or 1-866-578-3659, extension 2, or you can reach the Navigators via email at

You can also call the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association at 717-564-4930 or 1-800-887-6422 to be connected to a Navigator.

New Government Resource - provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying. Check it out at

Important Information About Medical Assistance Benefits

The Department of Public Welfare is making a change to Medical Assistance prescription drug benefits. The change starts January 3, 2012.

What is the change?
You can get up to 6 prescriptions each month. This is a new limit.

Does this change apply to you?
If you are in a managed care plan, contact your managed care plan to ask how this change applies to you.

The change does not apply if:

  • You are under 21 years of age;
  • You are pregnant; or
  • You live in a nursing home or an intermediate care facility.

If you use the PA ACCESS card to get your prescriptions and you do not fit an exception, this change applies to you.

To read the entire notice, please click here.

"Everyong is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live his whole life believing that it is stupid."

- Albert Einstein

Submitted by Brian M., Sprout Contributor

Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Smoke Alarms Available to protect residents in Erie

Carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are available through the City of Erie Fire Department and Safe Kids Erie partnership known as “Protect the Place You Call Home”. For more information call 870-1402.

Medical Assistance Co-Pays

As part of the PA state budget for 2011-12, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) will begin charging co-pays for Medical Assistance services for children with disabilities whose family income is more than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (or about $45,000 for a family of four). At this point, DPW is still deciding how to implement these co-pays.

Several organizations are concerned about the impact this will have on families. In order to give the DPW some information about out-of-pocket costs families are facing, these organizations have created a short survey asking families to complete.

Please distribute to other friends or families you know who have children with disabilities. Please fill out a separate survey for each child on Medical Assistance due to a disability.

Check out! is an online health education center that has been designed to communicate physical and mental health science education concepts to students K-12 through health educational resources such as games, activities, and health education lesson plans. To learn more, visit

Erie County Drug and Alcohol Coalition Announces new Website to Aid in Fighting Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The Erie County Drug and Alcohol Coalition (ECDAC) announces the launch of a new website that will aid Erie professionals to fight drug and alcohol abuse. The website,, was made possible, in part, with a grant from the Erie Community Foundation.

The Erie County Drug and Alcohol Coalition, established in 1993, is an all-volunteer 501(C)3 organization. The board of directors and general membership represent human service agencies, health professionals, law enforcement, parents, business and community leaders, elected officials and others concerned with the development of an integrated drug and alcohol education and prevention delivery system. ECDAD is the oldest coalition of its kind in Pennsylvania.

For more information, visit

Bullying Hotline set up by Safe Harbor Behavioral Health
Students in grades K-12 who are being bullied can now get immediate help. A 24-hour hotline SAFELine has been set up by Safe Harbor Behavioral Health. They are currently working with school superintendents and other community leaders to schedule meetings to learn about the hotline.

The number to call is 814-456-SAFE (7233).

WebTool Locates Needed Resources

PEPNet has launched a new “Research Search” tool for which will improve access to the rapidly growing variety of PEPNet resources which address issues related to providing quality services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The revamped search feature makes it easier to find resources, and provides immediate and accessible references for site visitors, while expanding the site’s search capabilities.

The new feature will search everything in the PEPNet Dissemination Center (PDC) where we house a variety of products, such as handbooks, articles, conference proceedings/tipsheets/curricula/training materials/CDs/DVDs, videoclips, etc. In addition to searching the PDC, you also will be able to search the following offerings:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • PEPNet Listserv Past Posts
  • Current and Past PEPNet Perspectives
  • Training Materials

For more information, please visit

Use Your Head and Prevent Flat Head Syndrome for your Baby
Flat Head Syndrome is a flat spot on the back or one side of your baby’s head. Being in the same position repeatedly causes this condition.

The first six weeks of your baby’s life is a vital period for you to prevent serious disorders in the future– like facial asymmetry and movement disorders.

Here are just a few tips:

  • Alternate your baby’s head direction when placing your baby to sleep on his or her back
  • Carry your child in your arms frequently
  • Use car seats only for riding in the car
  • Avoid extended time in swings and other reclined seats
  • Provide frequent, supervised tummy time when your baby is awake

Visit to learn more.

This information provided by the Junior League of Erie, Women building better communities

Preparing for Post-Secondary Education at

This guide has tools for parents to prepare them for their child's transition from public school to postsecondary education and adulthood. Includes information about laws that protect parents' rights as well as the rights of adult children in college.

For more information, check out

PASchoolTalk is a new site that provides a forum for people who have concerns and ideas about public education in Pennsylvania.  Some ELL Task Force members have already joined the site.  We’d really like to see more ideas and information on ELL issues on the site – but that will only happen if more join.


Text4baby is a free mobile information service designed to promote safe pregnancy and healthy birth outcomes, particularly among underserved populations.

An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby will help women in having safe and healthy pregnancies by providing them with information they need to give their babies the best possible start in life.

Text4baby is the largest national mobile health initiative to date and is being launched by an unprecedented group of public and private partners, including the White House and the Department of Health and Huma Services (HHS).

To sign up, text BABY or BEBE to 511411, or visit

New Resource Available for Parents and Educators is an online health science learning site designed to help educators, parents and community leaders communicate important health concepts to students. The site contains comprehensive lesson plans, interactive games and activities, webquests and more. The goal of the site is to inspire students and their families to make health choices that will last a lifetime.

To learn more, visit

Special Education Eligibility Guidelines

Parents if your child is eligible for special education did you know:

1. Only you can excuse professional members of the school team from your IEP meeting.  Fore example if your child has Speech, Occupational or Physical therapy only you can excuse their presence.

2. There should always be a special education teacher present and at least one of your child’s regular education teachers.

3. There should always be a local education agent at your meetings. (LEA rep)  This is a person authorized to approve an aide or any monies necessary to meet your child’s needs.

4. You can bring whoever you want to an IEP meeting.

5. IEP meetings should be held at your convenience and with enough time allotted to discuss and make changes to the draft document

6. You can ask for additional goals to be added to any IEP.

7. Goals must be clearly understood and be measurable. (A good rule of thumb, close your eyes and imagine your child doing this goal, if you can then it is probably a good goal for your child)

8. Education should take place in the least restrictive environment

9. Curriculum should be modified to meet your child’s needs.

10. You can always request an assistive technology evaluation. There are technologies available that support children who have a difficult time with Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Math to name a few.

11.  The Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) does not need to be signed at the IEP meeting.  This is the legal document that you sign agreeing with the child’s program, and placement.  It is always best to take home and read over the IEP changes and then decide whether or not you agree.  You have 10 days to do this or the IEP will go into effect whether you agree or not.

12. There are experts available from the IU 5 and PATTAN if your IEP team gets stuck on how to best support your child.

This information has been brought to you by Kathy L.
for more information contact Jill Hrinda-Patten Director of Mission Empower at 814-825-0788

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November 2014 The Family Voice
November 2014 The Youth Voice

November 2014 Ask The Advocate
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2014 Kinship Care Fall Fathering
Date: Saturday, October 11, 2014
Time: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Crossroads Community Baptist Church
5827 Old French Road, Erie, PA 16509
Registration Deadline: October 7, 2014

Learn More and Register

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